PFL 1 2024 Preview: Heavyweights

PFL Ante Delija
2024 PFL 1: San Antonio Official Weigh-Ins at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio River Walk in San Antonio, Texas, Wednesday, April 3, 2024. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

PFL 1 2024 goes down tomorrow night from San Antonio, Texas and the big boys are kicking things off as the heavyweight division is one of the two featured divisions in the season opener. In the main event, former PFL champion Ante Delija (24-5) will take on former interim Bellator champion Valentin Moldavsky (12-3).

Starting with the former Bellator champion, the last time we saw him was back in August when he defeated Steve Mowry by decision. Prior to that, he had been stopped by Linton Vassell (24-8) who will be fighting in the co-main event. After starting his career 11-1 and becoming interim Bellator champ, Moldavsky has ran into some trouble going just 1-2, 1 NC in his last four. He’s hoping to change his fate tomorrow night.

To do that, he’ll have to defeat former PFL champ Ante Delija. Delija dominated in the 2022 season by finishing three of his four opponents including 2023 champion Renan Ferreira who is not competing in the 2024 season. Delija suffered an injury that kept him out of the season last year. However, he did appear for one fight against Maurice Greene where he won by a decision. Overall, the former PFL champ is 7-1 in his last eight fights.

PFL 1 2024

As mentioned above, Linton Vassell will be making his debut in the SmartCage tomorrow night. You wanna talk about a fighter entering with a lot of momentum, look no further than Vassell. He’s won five in a row including stoppages over Tim Johnson and Valentin Moldavsky. He was supposed to fight Ryan Bader last year for the heavyweight title but had to withdrawal. Now, he’s competing in this year’s regular season.

He’ll be taking on last year’s PFL runner-up Denis Goltsov (32-8). Admittedly, I picked Goltsov to defeat Ferreira and win the championship last year. He had been so dominant having won five fights in a row including four finishes. At the time of the championship bout, he had finished three straight in the first round. However, Ferreira’s power was too much in their title fight and he got clipped in the second round after a dominating first round. Goltsov will begin his march towards PFL gold tomorrow night.

We will also see a rematch between Daniel James (14-7-1) and Marcelo Golm (10-4) on the main card tomorrow. Blagoy Ivanov (19-6) also makes his promotional debut as he’s taking on Russian Sergey Bilostenniy (11-3). Should be a fantastic show tomorrow night on ESPN.

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